downloadReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Wow! I definitely found Red Rising to be amazing. I think this is the first 5-star book I’ve read for LuxuryReading.com. The story just sucked me right in from the first chapter, and I can’t wait for the second installment to come out!

Red is the color of Mars and it is also the color that defines Darrow’s life. He is a Red, and Reds mine underground for H3, one of the most important gases used in terra forming. The Red’s are watched over by the Greys (police/army) and the colors go up all the way to Gold–yellow haired, yellow eyed, bronzed and god like. The Reds sacrifice for the good of all so Mars can be turned into a paradise for the other colors to come and colonize the planet.

Little do they know that the planet has been colonized for centuries and the other colors have been living on their labor and feeding them lies. It’s a hard life and men who make it to 35 are considered very old. Darrow, a married man at 17, learns one lie after we meet him. The Reds are split into different clans and are competing against each other for the ‘top’ spot as the highest producers. As high producers they are eligible for bonus rations. Darro’s clan reaches the highest production level but the award still goes to Gamma, like it always does. That’s when Darrow learns it’s all about control.

Shortly after this several events in his life coincide, changing his life forever. Darrow is shown the truth of Mars and is asked to do the impossible. He needs to infiltrate the ranks of the Golds, become one of them, be better than them. His mission is to tear down the ziggurat they have built on the backs of the other colors. It is a cast system the likes of which were never dreamed of in India.

Darrow has to rebuild his body and his mind from the bottom up. He doesn’t even recognize himself when it’s all done. Then his first challenge. He needs to get accepted into their most prestigious university, because only the Peerless Scarred, who rule everyone, come from there. These are the best of the best, and the school’s training makes the Spartans look like posers.

This book was incredible. A great story of a man becoming the ultimate double agent. His quest is to bring down those who have oppressed his people by becoming one of them. His challenge is to avoid becoming one of them. Beat them at their own game.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Del Rey. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.